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Counseling/As his daughter, is my dad crossing the line?


Hi, so much information I need to share please. I just wonder about my dad all the time.  Em I stupid to think my dad could be sexually attracted to me?  Its just disgusting to even say, but I don't know.  I started thinking about it and wrote down some things that happened.  

 I tried on clothes once when I was somewhere between 9 and 11 years old while he was in the dressing room with me.  He tells me I am beautiful!
 Same age, I complained I had a headache.  He takes my head and lays me on his lap and rubs my head.  A few minutes later, he buries my face into his groin while the massage continues.  This lasts a good half hour. First time in my life I am aware my father has a penis because I can feel it.
 Over the course of the next few years, a number of "accidental exposers" happened.  He just seemed to be naked a lot when I was the only one able to see.  It seemed strange, but why would I want to see my dad naked anyways?  But going behind the barn to change out of his swimsuit when I am the only person at the fire with a clear view seems almost way too coincidental.
  Dad also would touch me on my neck or back often, but I never let it happen for more than a few seconds.  He just seemed way to touchy for my blood..
  About 2 years ago, I was 16 years old.  My mom is sitting on a chair with a computer on her lap. I am looking over her shoulder, dad comes up behind me and pats me on my butt a 3 times.  I don't say anything.  Then he does it again but keeps his hand there for about 5 seconds before I finally move away.
  These are just some examples, I could have more.
  Just this past Christmas.  Why my suspicions have really skyrocketed.  I am home from college, all the family is around.  I sit on the floor in front of my dad chair while we open gifts.  He rubs my shoulders and neck the entire time.  I never said anything because it does feel really good and its the first time I am home since Thanksgiving.    My older sister even said something about it as he was doing it like, "I wonder who dad loves the most," which we all have a good laugh about.  The next day I am wake up and dad is watching television.   After a bowl of cereal, I lay on the floor in front of his chair.  He asks me to sit in front of the chair so he can rub my shoulders again.  I say no.  He continues to encourage me, so I did.   The massage was so intense, felt so good, and so wrong at the same time.  Unlike the night before, he also massages my head.   He keeps asking me if it feels good. Yes, it feels good.  
   Mom gets up a little later and tells us she is headed to the store to pick up some things for lunch.  She asks if I want to go but dad tells me softly to say no, the massage won't continue then.  I don't answer her so I hear the door meaning she had left without me.  The massage doesn't stop till she gets back, must have been a good hour later.  As I get up he tells me I am"so beautiful."
    That night I start thinking about what dad was doing.  Why would he want to give me a massage for so long?   I kind of feel sick about it now.  I just flew back to my dorm today and really am thinking.  Tell me I am overreacting?  Dad couldn't be attracted to me?  Thanks so much!

Dear Morgan,
Thank you for your letter.
There may be a boundary missing. You have a gut feeling that there needs to be more respect. You are the man's daughter. Daughters, like sisters and mothers, deserve the utmost respect. There is a boundary that ideally exists, which naturally makes a man treat these close alpha relationships as pure gold. The excess touching you remember would not have happened if the respect existed. It reminds me of the symptoms of child abuse victims who lack boundaries for others' personal space. What you describe as the current status sounds like the lack of boundaries continues. Having only limited understanding of the situation, I cannot say for sure, but it would give me the creeps.
But, before we "go off the cliff" think about other aspects of the relationship.
In your family of origin, did you sense a feeling of "family," shared caring and love for each other? If there was a basic feeling of trust, did you feel that your parents gave you a nurturing childhood? Did your father provide for your family financially? Did your parents get along?
Also, were the other parts of your relationship with your father nurturing? Did he offer good guidance in life's difficult situations? Did he set a positive example? Did he provide consistent discipline without violence, or emotional/verbal abuse?
If you can honestly see where things stand, no matter how ideal or un-ideal it is, at least you will have a baseline of where you are at. Then you can make a plan to put the pieces back together as an adult.
Please check out my book, Cult Survivors Handbook. Even though you did not grow up in a cult, you might be able to relate. The bad behaviors in a family or cult are just the dark side of human nature. Cult Survivors Handbook will help you build a healthy boundary. Like, when I see my parents, I often hug my mom, sometimes hug my dad, and sometimes pat them on the back, or whatever. Anything beyond that would be weird for me. They're my parents! Cult Survivors Handbook will help you build up your self-esteem so you can get the space you need.
I wish you the best. If you want to discuss further, please write back.

Cult Survivors Handbook


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